Sport

Edwin Allen take control, set sail for glory

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, March 29, 2014    

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EDWIN Allen High girls appeared well set to win their second ISSA/GraceKennedy national athletics title as they opened up a massive lead after yesterday's fourth and penultimate day at the National Stadium in Kingston.

After trailing Hydel coming into the day, Edwin Allen took over the lead after the ninth final, the second of the day, and never looked back as they accumulated points almost at will.

The Michael Dyke-coached team finished the day on 151 points, 39 more than Hydel High (112 points), while St Jago, powered by their awesome sprinters, are in third place on 93. Defending champions Holmwood Technical, well back in fourth place on 78 points, had any hopes of retaining their title all gone.

On the day when speed reigned supreme with the semi-finals and finals of the 100m being the highlights of the day's schedule, the drums and horns came out setting the cadence for the athletes under another brilliant cloudless sky.

Edwin Allen's Christania Williams celebrated her comeback in fine style as she destroyed the field from the start to win the girls' Class One 100m title in a sparkling 11.19 seconds, dismissing the challenge of Wolmer's Girls' Jonielle Smith, who was second in 11.32 seconds, and defending champion Monique Spencer of Edwin Allen, who finished third in 11.46 seconds.

As expected, the Class Two girls' 100m went down to the wire with Wolmer's Shauna Helps just beating St Jago's Nattalia White to the line and both girls being credited with the same time, 11.80 seconds, and another St Jago runner Shanice Reid taking third place with 11.89 seconds.

Edwin Allen's Shellece Clarke powered her way from a quality field to win the Class Three 100m in 11.79 seconds ahead of two Hydel runners -- Shaneil English, who was second with 11.87 seconds, and Yanique Dayle in 11.93 seconds.

Convent of Mercy Alpha Academy's Kiara Grant sped away from the field to win the Class Four gold medal with 11.98 seconds as Kayla Bonnick of St Jago took the silver in 12.25 seconds, just holding off Hydel's Ashanti Moore, who clocked 12.36 seconds.

The stage has been set for what should be an interesting Class One 400m final this afternoon between Carifta Trials winner Dawnalee Loney of Balaclava High and Vere Technical's Yanique McNeil.

Loney chased down and caught McNeil three weeks ago and won her semi-final in 54.80 seconds, while the Vere athelete had the fastest time going into today's final after running 53.68 seconds to beat Petersfield's Asaine Hall (53.80 seconds), with Edwin Allen's Camira Haughton and St Jago's Genekee Leith both clocked at 54.83 seconds in the third semi-final.

In Class Two, Edwin Allen's Shannon Kalawan, who was fifth in Class Three last year, set the pace in yesterday's semi-final, winning her race in 55.03 seconds, beating Hydel's Taqece Duggan (55.11 seconds), last year's Class Three champion. In the first heat, Papine's Tiffany James won in 55.24 seconds ahead of Holmwood Technical's Ashley Williams, who ran 55.39 seconds.

Hydel's Shian Salmon, who won the Class Three high jump with a new record 1.78m on Thursday, showed off her versatility by running the fastest time over the 400m semi-finals, clocking 56.01 seconds, just holding off Vere Technical's Sanique Walker (56.04 seconds).

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